Billboard - "What makes Choc Quib Town's new album ORO so interesting is that every track finds a new way to interpret the traditional sounds of the country's Pacific coast."
Photographer: Ruben Eshuis.
Chocquibtown is a hip-hop trio named for the region of Colombia where they were born and raised -- the city of Quibdó in the state of Chocó. The image of Colombia in the outside world is Indian/mestizo, like the majority of South America, but fully a third of the country's population is of African descent, and that's the often-forgotten community Chocquibtown is representing. The group's sound mixes hip-hop beats with Latin rhythms, reggae, electro, and various Afro-Colombian sounds; choruses are sung, and the tracks are built from a mix of samples and live instruments. The three vocalists -- rappers Tostao and Slow, and Slow's sister, rapper/singer Goyo -- trade verses and choruses in Spanish, with a few dashes of English here and there, over tracks that are high-tech and pop-friendly without being totally cheesy. The group even offers a slower song or two, like "Busco Personas" and "Macru," that allow Goyo to showcase her vocal talents. The best comparison, given their upbeat performance style, lack of gangsta attitude, and male-female dynamic, would be the Black Eyed Peas circa Elephunk -- positive attitude with a hint of edge, and dancefloor- and radio-friendly music, without devolving into pure pop pandering. ~ Phil Freeman